Some of the most fun you can have in Dungeons & Dragons are holiday adventures. Whether you bring your party joy at Christmas, romance on Valentine’s Day, or horror on Halloween, seasonally themed D&D one-shots can be a good break from a long campaign or even a fun side-quest dropped right in the middle.
Whatever your reason for wanting a good 5e Halloween one-shot or mini-campaign, I know there’s something here that will scare the robe and wizard hat off of someone at your table.
1. A Night of Fright
Nothing says creepy, crazy fun like Scooby-Doo. Unfortunately, D&D doesn’t have the rights to the Scoobster, so Stephen Pankotai and Sadie Lowry have done the next best thing: written a fantastic parody adventure called A Night of Fright where you can take on the role of the meddling heroes and their talking dog…err…gnoll and solve a mystery in a haunted house!
The art is phenomenal, the story is well-written and hilarious, and the tropes are delicious. There’s a reason this is one of the top-selling Halloween D&D adventures on DMs Guild every year. You can get the first A Night of Fright for just $4.95 on DMs Guild.
BONUS! A Night of Fright 2: The Lich’s Ghost
Wait! There’s more! there’s a super cool sequel subtitled The Lich’s Ghost which doesn’t make any sense at all how a lich has a ghost or a ghost is a lich, but it’s fun and silly and exactly the kind of follow-up romp you’d want.
The sequel costs $6.95, or you can nab both Nights of Fright in a bundle with a separate collection of ‘meddling heroes subclasses’ for between $8 and $12, depending on the sale.
2. One Night Strahd
The Curse of Strahd is still the best-selling and one of the most beloved official entries for fifth edition. But it is sprawling and complex and can take a chunk of time to get through. Enter One Night Strahd.
Technically, “one night” is a misnomer, but I can’t blame them for going all-in with the pun. That said, One Night Strahd is a lot shorter than the original, and it’s very streamlined and has multiple campaign structures for you to get through, each lasting roughly 12 to 16 hours (or 3-4 sessions on average).
At $18.00, it’s on the more expensive side for DMs Guild content, but there’s a reason. This title rivals the quality of its namesake, and it’s 525 pages long with original art, monsters, encounters, everything. 525 pages, people! The original Curse of Strahd is only 256. Crazy.
If you’re looking for a good, quick, October scarefest for your D&D group, One Night Strahd is perfect. Even if you’ve already run the original, you’ll find a ton of new content to love.
3. Nerzugal’s Tome of Horrifying Adventures
For $6.99, the Tome of Horrifying Adventures is made up of 10 one-shot adventures that are perfect for scary sessions and a party of anyone between levels 1 and 16.
I’m personally a huge fan of the hand-drawn maps and line art for most of the adventures, but I can understand if that’s not your thing.
This is also a bundle of previously published horror adventures, so there’s even more art added and the modules themselves have been expanded.
However, with 155 pages of creeptastic content for $6.99, there’s no way you won’t find something for your Halloween one-shot.
4. Halloween in Phandalin
Maybe I’m biased, but I feel like The Lost Mine of Phandelver is one of the best (if not the best) official fifth edition adventures WotC has released. It’s just good.
So when I came across Halloween in Phandalin, a tie-in that not only uses a setting many 5e players already know and love, but also includes massive amounts of undead, you can bet your tookus that it was going to make this list.
And with it being set for levels 3-5, you can insert it within your LMoP campaign without missing a beat. And like the item description says, if you’ve already finished the starter set’s beginning adventure, give your party a fun flashback for Halloween! $3.99 is a steal for this one.
5. Rise of the Necromancer
I love Pay What You Want titles on DMs Guild. And of all of those I’ve tried, Rise of the Necromancer is one of my favorites.
The hand-drawn cave map has been fun for me to share, and I’ve had some parties go through it and really get smashed by the skeleton patrols and try to Frankenstein their own creations in the Necromancer’s “Red Room.”
At the shockingly low recommended price of free ($0.00), you can’t go wrong. I do, however, suggest that if you enjoy what the author (Craig Robertson) has created, you throw a little money his way. Every sale over $0.25 on DMs Guild counts toward best-seller status, after all.
I haven’t had a chance to check out the sequels yet, but I fully intend to dig deep into The Underling’s Awakening and Empire of the Underling when I get a chance.
There are so many good Halloween D&D adventures on the Dungeon Masters Guild that it’s pretty hard to choose which to include in a Best Of list. So in order to keep this post manageable, I wanted to list some of my other favorites so that you can check them out and get even more creeptastic goodness into your Halloween season and D&D sessions.
- Monster Hunts: Halloween gives you Monster Hunter-like rules for collecting monster parts and creating your dream armor and items out of them.
- No Halloween would be complete without Rise of the Pumpkin King.
- Happy Jack’s Funhouse gives you all the creepy clowns you can shake a wizard’s staff at.
- And if you want to throw your characters for a loop, start them out already dead in Death is Only the Beginning.
- Because I’m oh-so-shameless, I am also going to throw in my own Halloween-themed titles: I have 2 one-shots in Grim Press’s Adventures in Ravenloft, over 2 dozen encounters and adventure hooks in Horrific Encounters in Ravenloft, and a Mimic-themed mini-shot called Little House on the Scary.
- And I just released The Liching Hour for Halloween 2022, another free (pay-what-you-want) title set in Phandalin from The Lost Mine of Phandelver!
Whether you want a free Halloween one-shot or a fully fleshed-out story and campaign, there’s some fantastic stuff on DMs Guild that absolutely rolls a Nat20 on their Scary Fun check. If you check any of these out or if you find any other cool ones that I missed, let me know!
If you want to check out some of our other Dungeons & Dragons content, we suggest the best free one-shots for 5e or our look at how Thieves’ Tools Really Work in Fifth Edition.
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